Answer to Probability Quiz Question #4

In June, 1990, Canada's Meech Lake Accord was about to expire, and had not yet been ratified by three provinces. On June 9, a tentative deal for ratification was reached at a First Minister's conference. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney then gave an interview in which he described the conference as "rolling the dice". This remark reminded Canadians of the inherent randomness of the entire process. It became a focal point of anti-Meech sentiment, and contributed to the accord's demise. The Charlottetown referendum of 1992, the rise of the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois in 1993, Quebec's near-secession in 1995, and even the current sponsorship scandal, can all be traced back to the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, and to Mulroney's unfortunate (if accurate) probability analogy.

Probability quizzes by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal.

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